SACRAMENTS FOR THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Sacraments are efficacious signs of God’s grace. They bring about spiritually what we see naturally in the physical signs of the sacraments. The visible rites of the sacraments actually make present the grace that is particular to each sacrament. As an example, baptismal water not only cleanses the body but also washes away sin.
The sacraments help us grow in holiness, build up the Body of Christ, and give worship and praise to God. There are a total of seven sacraments which can be grouped in three areas.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
- Baptism is the first sacrament of our initiation into the Church. To be baptized means to be born anew, to share in in Christ’s life as one of his Disciples. Through Baptism, we become children of God, are freed from original sin, and begin our faith journey as Catholic Christians in the Church.
- Eucharist is the second sacrament of our initiation into the Church. The Most Holy sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood allows us to receive Jesus in the Eucharist which nourishes us and helps to strengthen our relationship with God and our community.
- Confirmation is the third sacrament of our initiation where we are anointed and receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit. These Gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to live as faithful followers and true witnesses of the faith by strengthening our minds and our wills to do as Jesus asks of us.
SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
- Reconciliation is a way for us to begin a new life of grace for those who are truly sorry for their sins and are committed to sin no more and turn back to God. Their relationship with God and the Church is restored, and their sins are forgiven. This sacrament should be celebrated at least once a year.
- Anointing of the Sick calls upon the whole Church to care for its sick or aged members. In this sacrament God’s grace and comfort is given to those who are suffering as they are united to the suffering of Christ.
SACRAMENTS OF VOCATION
- Matrimony is a sacrament between a man and woman who become husband and wife where they promise to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives. Through their special love they welcome children into their lives and create a home of faith, prayer and love.
- Holy Orders is a sacrament where baptized men are ordained to serve the Church as bishops, priests, and deacons. They devote their lives in service to the communities in which they minister.